Picture Courtesy: Amesty International
More than half of Rohingya refugees that have fled violence in Myanmar are children, a humanitarian group has revealed.
Children’s humanitarian group UNICEF estimates more than 330,000 refugees have entered Bangladesh since August 25 with 200,000 of them children and the organisation expects the figure to rise.
“The first thing you see here in the different Rohingya camps is the large number of children,” UNICEF Bangladesh chief of child protection Jean Lieby said in a statement.
More than 1,000 of them have been identified as unaccompanied.
Mr Lieby said the children face a range of threats including hunger, disease and psychological health issues.
Conditions for Rohingya children in Myanmar’s Rakhine state are deteriorating, with the World Food Program estimating in July that 80,000 Rohingya children under the age of five will suffer from acute malnutrition in the next year.
It comes tensions between Myanmar’s government and the stateless Rohingya population intensified in recent years.
The government has cracked down on the Rohingya in response to militant attacks.
The United Nations’ Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussien said on Monday the crisis was a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
Meanwhile, Bangladesh is struggling to cope with a mass influx of refugees in a compressed time period.
“Just to give you an idea: 220,000 people entered Bangladesh in only six days – between 4 and 10 September,” Mr Lieby said.
“We have no indication that this influx will stop soon. This is a growing humanitarian crisis and children are at the heart of this crisis.”
UNICEF has opened a supply hub in Cox Bazar in southern Bangladesh, however, they are calling for further assistance.